A customer-centric organization is one that actively collects, analyzes, and applies the insights of Customer Knowledge towards the innovation and production of products and services that provide value in fulfilling an expectation.
The traditional design tools applied to this element include (but are not limited to) quantitative and qualitative research such as customer personas, journey and experience maps, ethnographic research, usability and heuristic research, and numerous other interactive and generative approaches. These approaches combine to map the Human Experience (HX) realms of Emotional ergonomics (authenticity, affinity, and wellness), Physical ergonomics (anthropometrics, ambients, movement), and Cognitive ergonomics (memory, perception, attention, reason).
The Customer Knowledge gained from using these tools is the key to the economics of consumer Lifetime Value (LTV). LTV is a type of equity that carries as much power as capital; the difference being that the equity of Customer Knowledge can increase as you employ it to generate current cash flow from customers1. Customer Knowledge is a dynamic asset and as such, demands constant monitoring, assessment, and organizational adjustment to accommodate.
Customer Knowledge is predicated on the following attributes:
- Emotive - Past experience informs future actions2 and quickly indicates shifts in attitudes towards objects (short-term) and subjects (long-term). The role of the Customer Knowledge professional is to gain personal and intimate access to this complex trust network of actions and impacts to identify critical paths that can inform future actions and direct future sales.
- Rational - Observed behaviors and trends that contextualizes but does not explain the impact of emotive decision-making.
- Tacit - The majority of critical consumer behaviors and the rules that guide those behaviors are contained in the collective consumer mind; there is no written protocol to anticipate why a shift in purchasing intent may occur and a direct question to the buyer may result in a poorly explained reason. Understanding the flow of an organization (and hence a buyer) requires the investment of time and attention to sieve out the meaningful (and constantly changing) purchase levers and triggers.
- Explicit - Performance metrics and analytic assessments can offer both trailing indication and predictive insight surrounding the operational output of a product and its relationship performance3. These quantitative (and to a lesser extent, qualitative) data points are essential in establishing a consumer profile but are woefully insufficient in offering a full picture of the consumer, path-to-purchase.